BERKELEY, Calif. — Just approaching the already busy block of Saturday’s Farmers’ Market, the smell of all different types of food and flowers meet you at the entrance. You can see a woman playing her guitar, another dressed in a clown suit holding balloons and several street musicians.
The Kashiwase Farms is already busy, slicing peaching and displaying them in dozens of boxes.
This family-run business on a 190-acre organic farm is now run by the third generation. It was started in 1920 by Steven Kashiwase’s grandfather. The farm is now owned by Kashiwase and his wife, Lisa, and they produce up to 18 different types of organic fruit with the help of seasonal workers. Their bestselling product is the Flavor King peach(to be in the markets in two weeks).
Across from their booth are musicians performing as Mad Noise. They play their own original songs and also do covers. They started three years ago going around San Francisco and San Jose playing guitars and cello. Their name came from a passerby, who saw them performing and asked what they were called. When they said they didn’t have a name yet, he said, “Well, you guys make some mad noise!”
They are part of a lively mood that fills the Center Street block stretching to Martin Luther King Way in downtown Berkeley. Scores of people are chatting, laughing and trying out all different types of products, tasting fruit and chocolate samples, smelling bouquets.